Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Edmund Blunden papers, 1922-1986

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: Ms Coll\Blunden
Bib ID 4079330 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Blunden, Edmund, 1896-1974
Title Edmund Blunden papers, 1922-1986
Physical Description 8 linear feet (circa 2600 items in 20 boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.



Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged. Cataloged correspondence, Boxes 1-16; Cataloged manuscripts and photographs, Boxes 17 & 17a; Arranged correspondence, Box 18; Arranged manuscripts, documents and printed ephemera, Box 19.



Correspondence, manuscripts, documents, photographs and printed material of the English poet and critic, Edmund Blunden, documenting his personal and professional activity. Blunden's letters to his second wife, Sylva Norman, and his secretary, Aki Hayashi, are particularly well represented. Also included are many letters addressed to Blunden by eminent literary figures such as John Betjeman, George Orwell, Siegfried Sassoon, Stephen Spender, and Henry Williamson. Other literary correspondents are Adrian Bell, Joyce Cary, Richard Church, C. Day Lewis, Walter de la Mare, Graham Greene, H.D., William Plomer, Kathleen Raine, and Leonard Woolf. A substantial portion of the cataloged correspondence contains drawings, verse fragments and poems by Blunden which have been analyzed. Also present are eleven of Blunden's diaries, 1936-1967, which contain drafts of a number of poems. In addition, the collection contains a small number of autograph manuscripts of Edmund Blunden's literary works.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Processes by Henry Rowen, 7/75; Patrick Lawlor, David Donabedian, John McW, 7/75; John Roe, 1/94; Henry Rowen 6/96, 3/97, and 5/2000.

Related Archival Materials

Blunden's copy of "Undertones of War" is cataloged for the Rare Book collection.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of the Friends of the Columbia Libraries, 1973.

Gift of Claire Blunden, 1993.

Gift of Carol Rothkopf, 1996.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Friends of the Columbia Libraries. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1973. Accession number--M73.

2 letters from Sylva Norman: Source of acquisition--Blunden, Claire. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--04/23/1993. Accession number--M-93-04-23.

Blunden poem: Source of acquisition--Rothkopf, Carol. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--04/02/1996. Accession number--M-96-04-02.

Blunden essay: Source of acquisition--2293B. Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--04/09/1996. Accession number--M-96-04-09.

Photograph of Claire Blunden: Source of acquisition--Rothkopf, Carol. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1996. Accession number--M-1996.

Poem: V Day: Source of acquisition--2293B. Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--09/06/1996. Accession number--M-96-09-06.

4 letters from EB to Gilbert Phelps: Source of acquisition--2293B. Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--08/11/1998. Accession number--M-98-08-11.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 04/05/1989.

2 letters from Sylva Norman Cataloged HR 08/10/1993.

Blunden poem Cataloged HR 05/31/1996.

Blunden essay Cataloged HR 05/31/1996.

Photograph of Claire Blunden Processed HR 01/06/1997.

Poem: V Day Cataloged HR 03/06/1997.

4 letters from EB to Gilbert Phelps Cataloged HR 08/20/1998.

Revision Description

HTML replaced with full finding aid, YH 2022-03

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Diaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Drawings (visual works) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Essays Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Financial records Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Notebooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Notes (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Poems Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sketches Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Abse, Dannie Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Authors, English Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bateson, Frederick Wilse, 1901-1978 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Beaumont, Cyril W (Cyril William), 1891-1976 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bell, Adrian, 1901-1980 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Betjeman, John, 1906-1984 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bottomley, Gordon, 1874-1948 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Brett-Smith, H. F. B (Herbert Francis Brett) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cary, Joyce, 1888-1957 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cecil, David, 1902-1986 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Church, Richard, 1893-1972 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Clare, John, 1793-1864 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cobden-Sanderson, Richard Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Critics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Day Lewis, C (Cecil), 1904-1972 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
De la Mare, Walter, 1873-1956 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dobrée, Bonamy, 1891-1974 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Engle, Paul, 1908-1991 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
English literature -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Greene, Graham, 1904-1991 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
H. D (Hilda Doolittle), 1886-1961 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hart-Davis, Rupert, 1907-1999 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Jeans, James, 1877-1946 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Keynes, Geoffrey, 1887-1982 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kilgour, Dorothy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kilgour, Norman Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Knight, G. Wilson (George Wilson), 1897-1985 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lemperly, Paul, 1858-1939 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lowndes, Marie Belloc, 1868-1947 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lucas, E. V (Edward Verrall), 1868-1938 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Morley, Frank, 1860-1937 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Norman, Sylva, 1901-1971 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Orwell, George, 1903-1950 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Plomer, William, 1903-1973 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Poets Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Portsmouth, Gerard Vernon Wallop, Earl of, 1898- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Raine, Kathleen, 1908-2003 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rothenstein, William, 1872-1945 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rowse, A. L (Alfred Leslie), 1903-1997 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sassoon, Siegfried, 1886-1967 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sherriff, R. C (Robert Cedric), 1896-1975 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Spender, Stephen, 1909-1995 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Squire, John Collings, Sir, 1884-1958 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stephens, Pauline Francis, 1903- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Strong, L. A. G (Leonard Alfred George), 1896-1958 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tambimuttu, 1915-1983 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Temple, William, 1881-1944 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Whitfield, A. Stanton (Archie Stanton), 1899- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Williamson, Henry, 1895-1977 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Woolf, Leonard, 1880-1969 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

English poet and critic. Born November 1, 1896 and died January 20, 1974. A noted poet and scholar Blunden served in the Royal Sussex Regiment 1916-1919. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1917.

Blunden was a scholar of the English Romantic poets and brought the attention of the literary world to the poetry of John Clare. He began his literary career under the direction of Middleton Murry at The Athenaeum 1920. He taught English Literature at Toyko University 1924-27 and was a fellow and tutor in English literature at Merton College from 1931 to 1943. He was a professor of English at the University of Hong Kong from 1953 to 1964 and held the Chair of Poetry at Oxford University from 196 to 1968.